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Long Term Unemployment as of Nov. 2, 2012
In the zillion words written about the tax-and-spending changes that make up what's being called the "fiscal cliff," one that has gotten little attention is the end of federally funded emergency extensions to unemployment insurance coverage. If nothing changes between now and Dec. 29, the Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee estimate that some two million Americans will be up jobless creek without the paddle provided by these emergency extensions.

Instantly these jobless Americans would be added to the millions who have already exhausted their benefits or were never eligible for them in the first place. The effect on them and the economy would be exceedingly painful. Recession-level painful. What a lovely Christmas present.

Household income would plunge to zero in many cases and force into poverty hundreds of thousands of others where one or more family members are lucky enough to have a job. It's estimated by the Congressional Research Service that unemployment compensation reduced the poverty rate for families receiving them in 2011 by 40 percent. It kept 600,000 children out of poverty.

As for the economy as a whole:

Mark Zandi from Moody’s Economy.com projects that allowing [emergency] benefits to end this year will reduce economic growth next year by $58 billion. Zandi testified earlier this year that “Emergency UI provides an especially large economic boost, as financially stressed unemployed workers spend any benefits they receive quickly.” The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) similarly concluded in a report this year that assistance for the unemployed has one of the “largest effects on employment per dollar of budgetary cost.”
Lawrence Mishel, president of the Economic Policy Institute, says, “Spending on unemployment insurance is the most effective thing you can do to stimulate the economy.” The government, he adds, recovers at least half of the money provided by unemployment benefits through higher tax revenues. That's because it actually creates jobs and supports businesses who benefit from the spending by people are receiving those unemployment paychecks.

The Congressional Budget Office also states that unemployment compensation provides the best bang for the buck for increasing output when the economy is weak. And, despite 32 consecutive months of job growth, the economy is most assuredly still weak. In fact, as of the most recent job report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 4.2 million fewer payroll jobs overall and 3.9 million fewer private-sector jobs in October than was the case when the recession began in December 2007.

Keeping the emergency benefits in place throughout 2013 would cost the government $39 billion. But because each dollar invested in workers through the unemployment compensation generates $1.52 in economic activity, the impact on the economy is $59 billion, a boost to gross domestic product of 0.4 percent and the creation or rescuing of 448,000 jobs.

During the worst part of the recession, some 75 percent of the unemployed received benefits. Now it is less than 50 percent. Only about a fourth of the unemployed are receiving regular state benefits. The rest, those two million Americans, depend on the federal emergency extensions. That's because long-term unemployment remain at record levels for the post-1930 period.

Quite a few Republicans have said or implied that unemployment compensation contributes to laziness. That it's a subsidy to people who don't want to work. They conveniently ignore the fact that there is still only one job opening available for every 3.4 Americans out of work. Contrary to the GOP BS, these out-of-work people aren't eating bon-bons out of the government trough.

Congress has extended the emergency benefits several times since they were first enacted in June 2008. But as we have seen over the past two years, there is less and less support for additional extensions. As Chad Stone at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities notes, this is the case even though emergency jobless benefits have never been cut off in previous economic downturns anytime the unemployment rate was more than 7.2 percent. It is currently 7.9 percent, and nobody expects it to fall below 7.2 percent before the middle of next year, if then.

Rep. Sandy Levin of Michigan, the ranking Democrat on Ways and Means, points out that emergency extensions have already been cut back this year. Dropping them altogether "would deal a devastating blow to already hard-hit families still looking for work as well as undercut the nation’s economic recovery. Congress must act promptly to continue this economic lifeline."

Indeed.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 12:46 PM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  "We had to shrink the economy to grow it" (18+ / 0-)

    appears to be their logic.

    They could at least build a few more bridges for the newly homeless to live under.

    "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" - Dick Cheney 2/14/10

    by Bob Love on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 12:52:00 PM PST

    •  It's what god wanted (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bob Love, Cinnamon

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 02:04:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm unemployed ang get $200/week. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        qofdisks

        Thank the Creator my home is paid off.

        Want to see what pure unadulterated Revenge looks like? Don't tell me I shouldn't have chosen Uma Thurman in Kill Bill style revenge. I was there at the St Petersburg Florida Straw Poll and CNN Debate in 2007. I saw Romney supporters with dozens of ballots each, stuffing the ballot box for their scum.

        I'm still gloating about getting my Pure unadulterated Revenge, that I got in helping make Mitt Romney lose. That's all it is about for a bunch of the Ron Paul Crew. No other reason matters to us in this regard.

        Want to Know Why the GOP Suffered Deliciously?  
        Want to know the real reason the right wing media in collaboration with the rest of the mainstream media, who knew they work together, did not mention Ron Paul in Mitt Romney's loss till today?

        Listen to a Ron Paul supporter gloat about voting for Obama and why.

        Alex Jones Caller Ron Paul Revenge Voters For Obama 11/09/2012
        ">

  •  Methinks it will happen, alas (20+ / 0-)

    16 days of "work" for the House until the end of the year.  Republicans really don't give a shite about the unemployed.  And now, they are in their rage/payback mode.  American citizens are not on their radar list right now (other than 1-2 %).

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 12:52:20 PM PST

    •  Bad enough that the GOP has the regular (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      snoopydawg, kurt

      Jane and John Doe in the crosshairs, but I'm even more worried that the administration we just put back into office will go all Grand Bargainy on us, too.

      •  Well that's a lot of people to hold hostage isn't (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elginblt

        it?  I mean it's pretty easy to sit here and pre-damn the President for the Grand Bargain when you won't be the one directly causing millions of people to suffer. I get it that we don't want the President to compromise. But just like last time, there are people who will really be going over the financial cliff if he doesn't get an agreement. Maybe we would be better positioned to help get the support he needs to get through this negotiation instead of assuming he's just looking for ways to sell us out.

        "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

        by stellaluna on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 02:36:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Call your Congressman and US Senator with links. (0+ / 0-)

      Congressmen and Congresswomen's Phone Numbers

      US Senator's Phone Numbers

      We have to use these links in 2014 so progressives will know who their Congresspeople are and which senate districts have races.

    •  it already happened (4+ / 0-)

      Last year when this shit came up. 99 got reduced to 66.
      I and 2 million have already got the shaft cuz the Dems rolled over. Again.
      But the rich got their cutsvextended for a whole fucking year!  
      Plus the fact that corporations do not pay 35 percent. Many paid none but got billions in refunds.
      Plus most of the rich put their money offshore.
      We are not represented.
      The rich are.

      If the Fetus you Saved was GAY, would you still fight for its RIGHT'S?

      by snoopydawg on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 03:11:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I keep hoping that if employment gets (0+ / 0-)

        bad enough that this nation will adopt progressive employment policies. AR, Alternative Radio had a good program on the topic week before last. Stuff like job sharing  and more pay for less time.

  •  Sigh. You do know that the GOP will use (19+ / 0-)

    unemployment benefits again to extend the Bush tax cuts if those benefits are part of the discussion.   I really hate how there is very little Democrats can do in Congress to create jobs or invest in infrastructure or do the things that need to be doing.   I do know this:  All of the Bush tax cuts have to end.   We need to return to the Clinton tax rates.  And we need to make sure there is no Grand Bargain and that Medicare and Social Security are left as is (I strongly reject any means testing and strongly oppose benefit cuts or raising the eligibility age).

    •  the republicans will take any and all hostages (19+ / 0-)

      like all good little thugs.

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 01:05:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Mitch McConnell made it clear (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JeffW, Laurence Lewis, qofdisks
        “I think some of our members may have thought the default issue was a hostage you might take a chance at shooting,” he said. “Most of us didn’t think that. What we did learn is this — it’s a hostage that’s worth ransoming. And it focuses the Congress on something that must be done.”
        In fact McConnell looks at this technique as a template:
        " It set the template for the future. In the future, Neil, no president — in the near future, maybe in the distant future — is going to be able to get the debt ceiling increased without a re-ignition of the same discussion of how do we cut spending and get America headed in the right direction. I expect the next president, whoever that is, is going to be asking us to raise the debt ceiling again in 2013, so we’ll be doing it all over.”
        Thugs indeed and not shy about it either
      •  Of course they will. Like the scorpion on the boat (4+ / 0-)

        it's their nature.

        The important and interesting question is whether the Dems have learned anything useful from the last round of hostage-taking.

        When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

        by PhilJD on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 02:58:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I'm still quite unclear (thus unsettled) on (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      akmk

      means testing.

      I hope folks will put some work into really good diaries on the topic because we all know it will come up.

      I doubt I am the only one unclear on the matter. I've read on means testing, but still don't feel good about the level of understanding I have as to the good/harm resulting from it.

      202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

      by cany on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 02:22:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  AFAIK, it's not bad *policy* per se (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cany, MKinTN, BrianParker14

        (since it would only hurt people who can afford to get less), but in the long term it's politically dangerous in a way that could undermine policy.

        Right now, SS is a social contract in which everyone pays in and everyone gets money out. Similarly with Medicare. And as much as we've had to be vigilant in protecting SS and Medicare, the weakest big-budget item politically is still Medicaid, which is the only one of the three that is means-tested.

        Maybe you'd already read all that before; just hoping a quick summary might help :-)

        Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
        Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
        Code Monkey like you!

        Formerly known as Jyrinx.

        by Code Monkey on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 02:40:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's pretty much my understanding, too, CM. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Code Monkey, divineorder, MKinTN

          When we start fooling with it, there's never an end to that.

          The argument is that we just need to leave it alone, as I understand it.

          Thanks for your thoughts.

          202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

          by cany on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 02:43:11 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  SS has an element of means testing... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Code Monkey

          ...right now.

          First, SS benefits are not taxable for Federal Income Tax except... ...when 1/2 of an individual's SS benefits plus non-taxable interest + AGI is between $25K and $33K, up to 50% of the SS benefits may be taxable. When 1/2 SS+NonTax Interest+AGI exceeds $34K, up to 85% of the SS benefits are taxable. True, I don't think these additional taxes go back into the Trust Fund (although, the two have become mixed now that we are drawing from general revenue to compensate the SS fund for the payroll holiday), but where the money goes is irrelevant to the person paying back a portion of their SS in taxes because they have too much outside income.

          Second, the benefits paid on the "first" dollar put into SS every year are six times those paid on the "last" dollar put in before the cap. This closely resembles means testing in many respects as those who have make higher wages while working are much more likely to have more income from other sources (IRA, 401(k), investments etc) in retirement.

          As I've mentioned many other times here, adding explicit means testing is just going to raise these current rules to the front burner which may be unwise as I think most people are unaware of them. Implementing means testing in a way that helps SS significantly would require setting the bar so low it would hit many retirees and be, I think, quite unpopular and damaging to the program (potentially turning it into something viewed as "welfare").

      •  Means testing is a problem in this (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mimi

        economy because so many grandparents are supporting their kid's families. The elderly are not so rich because of this.

    •  I think we should go back to pre Reagan (0+ / 0-)

      tax rates.

    •  There's no agreement on facts (0+ / 0-)

      I believe, perhaps naively, that Republicans are not insane lunatics.  From their point of view and based on what they believe to be facts, it makes sense that the reason that the country will sink into a new recession is that the most wealthy residents won't have as much money after taxes to create jobs and useful work for the rest of us.  They still cling to their belief in supply side economics.

      The writer (Meteor Blades) believes, as I do, that recession is caused primarily by lack of demand.  Suddenly unemployed and suddenly unpaid people stop buying and the whole enterprise slows down.  We believe, with good reason, in demand side economics.  If people have money, they will buy.

      Somehow, Republicans have to be convinced that their grasp on reality is unreal, that supply side economics has been known to be unworkable for at least two centuries.

  •  The problem is ... (17+ / 0-)

    if we try to fix this in the lame duck session, what's it going to cost in terms of cuts to Medicare, Social Security, extension of tax cuts for the highest income earners and so on?

    I hate that we're in this bind, but it still seems to me it's insanity to do anything before the new session when we have far more leverage.

    “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

    by jrooth on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 01:05:28 PM PST

  •  if you belong to those who never ... (6+ / 0-)

    ...were eligible to receive the benefits, there isn't much of a cliff to fall from. It hits your head when you realize you are already down there.. and can only laugh insanely at those "analytical" statistics.

    And spending on creating employment offices with human beings showing the job seekers, where they can apply and helping them through the process for those who haven't "connections", be it internet or human ones, would be the most effective way to help unemployed people, BTW.

  •  So what do we do? (15+ / 0-)

    We can't keep being held hostage every time these Bush tax cuts for the rich come up for expiration.  We just cannot!

    •  Maybe we should just let them expire and (16+ / 0-)

      end the hostage situation.  Then next year take a serious look at reforming the tax code.  I'd like to see the elimination of the mortgage tax deduction for second homes as a starter.  I'm sure there are lots of ways to pare down the tax code to make it simpler and fairer without the draconian cuts called for by the Republicans.

      •  Does this include, in your mind, rental (6+ / 0-)

        properties (like a triplex)?

        I know that rental pricing in Los Angeles/OC has increased dramatically. If mortgage deductions for these smaller units (and maybe the larger ones, too?  dunno) are eliminated, then rents will go up, again, drastically.

        I am in the triplex quandry and I try to keep rent really inexpensive for people, but really, I would not have any choice but to raise rent. I am doing overhauls on the apartments to the tune of up to $10K right now, and without deductions, I'd be pretty screwed.

        I take very good care of the property (it was my recently deceased mom's property) and would like to continue to be a really good landlord.

        202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

        by cany on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 02:28:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It won't be eliminated for business properties (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cany, Eric Nelson, Lujane

          That still will obviously be considered an expense for the purposes of your income from the property.  There's no way that would be eliminated.  Doing so would set a precedent that basically throws the entire taxation of businesses for a complete loop.  

          If you can't deduct your expenses from income you're basically just getting taxed on gross receipts, which is not an accurate measure of a business's success.  

          When people talk about eliminating the mortgage deduction it's for non-income producing properties.  In other words, second homes, vacation homes and so on.  

          •  Got it, thanks. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Lujane

            202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

            by cany on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 03:19:53 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  The mortgage deduction... (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Lujane, Sparhawk, gosoxataboy, qofdisks

            ...could be removed for primary residences also.

            I think it should be, but using a very long phase in period to avoid a sudden shock to the housing market -- perhaps over thirty years with 2% reduction each of the first ten years, a 3% reduction in each of the following ten years and a 5% reduction in each of the last ten years.

            The mortgage deduction is a throwback to the antiquated "everyone should own a home" notion when people tended to live in the same place for decades and jobs were not as fluid.

            The deduction increases housing prices making it that much more difficult for people to buy their first home unless they have enough income to benefit substantially from the mortgage deduction.

            A substantial portion of the benefit also ends up in the pockets of builders and speculators due to these increased housing prices.

            It's also a subsidy for tax payers in high income areas -- if we want to subsidize those in high income areas, just index the Federal Income Tax rates by cost of living in the area the tax payer lives.

            Of course, builders and real estate agents won't like this idea.

      •  And the elimination of the (4+ / 0-)

        "carried interest" loophole.  Money that's actually earned income should be taxed at earned income rates.  That's only a starter too.

        "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

        by SueDe on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 02:33:53 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  The problem is (0+ / 0-)

        not with the substance of this change but with the scope of it.  It is really small potatoes.  They are really going to have to go after some biggies for it to make any difference at all... exclusion of employer provided health care, deduction for state and local taxes, charitable contribution, and the entire home mortgage deduction.

  •  Having recently joined the ranks of the unemployed (22+ / 0-)

    I can assure the GOP that I would much rather be working, maybe doing something to rebuild our country.  Oh - wait!  That would be something like an infrastructure jobs program.  Something they don't want.

  •  This plot of the duration of unemployment (18+ / 0-)

    indicates this is not a typical business cycle downturn, and we should not expect a normal business cycle recovery to fix it.

    In a totally free trade environment, with low transportation costs, our  steady loss of our manufacturing jobs and base to low-wave areas, especially in Asia is seeking wage equalization with the rest of the world.

    Much of the  most modern manufacturing technology is being located in emerging nation in Asia where vast numbers of highly educated and low wage workers are eager and excited to have jobs paying wages few Americans could live on, even in poverty.  

    Additionally, China has an aggressive industrial policy to target domination of emerging industries such as the production of solar photovoltaics invented in the US, much the the same way the Japan and South Korea targeted consumer electronics and the automobile industry decades ago.

    We in the US need to more carefully study economic history and the challenges involved in the "fair trade-free trade" issues.  

    The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HoundDog on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 01:30:33 PM PST

    •  Damned straight! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Nelson, HoundDog, Mary Mike

      Americans need to think about what it really costs to buy cheap stuff that shoots holes in our own economic fabric, too.

      •  That the obama admin has ongoing secret trade (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        snoopydawg, qofdisks, 714day

        talks rightly criticized by labor   chaps my @ss .  Still working for the 1%, but I am still waiting on those comfortable shoes..

        Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

        by divineorder on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 02:41:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  that needs to be diaried (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          divineorder, 714day

          Even Congress doesn't know what is in them.
          What happened to giving tax breaks to business bringing jobs back?  Or reworking NAFTA.
          Obama wants to lower corporate taxes from 35-25' when many do not even pay taxes.
          Why can't he even propose a work program like FDR did.
          We fought like hell to get him and them recelected.
          I expect them to fight just as hard for us now.

          If the Fetus you Saved was GAY, would you still fight for its RIGHT'S?

          by snoopydawg on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 05:07:22 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I remember the NAFTA wars. Regardless of what (8+ / 0-)

      one might think about Ralph Nader on other issues, he (and others) were correct on Clinton's NAFTA. It was a big mistake imho.

      202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

      by cany on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 02:32:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Americans are going to have to make do... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hmi, qofdisks

      ...with less.

      Suburbia, unaffordable waste of resources. Most people shouldn't need to own a car. Walkability is key.

      Most people should not live in single family homes. They require tons of resources and are hard to heat.

      Education costs will fall, because they must. College degrees will not be worth high prices in the future other than a few specialties.

      The future isn't going to be about protecting American living standards. It is going to be about effectively managing the decline.

      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

      by Sparhawk on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 02:46:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What happens (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wader, JeffW

    if there is no deal about the "fiscal cliff"?  If the cuts expire and we have the sequester that will come with it, there will be a lot of pain, no doubt.  Maybe then the dumbassed people who vote against their best interests, will finally get it.  We all knew that this was coming, didn't we?  Or did we hope that the President would cave?

    •  jasan - the political challenge is that (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ColoTim, wader, cany

      the next elections are two years away and voters have short memories.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 01:50:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Unfortunately, I think it is pretty clear that the (5+ / 0-)

      people who vote against their own best interests are just not paying attention to the real actions of those for whom they vote.

      They keep doing it because of... pick one:  Values!  Freedom!  Stop Socialists!  

      But paying attention to what impacts them, versus what their party does to them?  Doesn't appear to be happening.

      "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

      by YucatanMan on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 01:59:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Isn't that a failure of communication (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        divineorder

        on behalf of the Democratic Party?

        Don't dismiss them. Find ways of getting to them. The fact is both parties have for far too long spoke about the middle class, the poor and working poor have been ignored.

        The poor pay property and state taxes at rates that are un-affordable. They pay sales taxes, which puts basics out of reach.

        Their income are always the easy target for deficit hawks.

        Why should they be the easy target and who stands for them?

        •  No, I don't think that's true. At least not in (0+ / 0-)

          this case.

          Remember, we have a president so despised by many not only for his imaginary faults, but because of his mixed race.

          I forget who wrote it here not long ago, but they wrote this:

          Not all republicans are racists but most racists are republican.
          I think that hits pretty close to home. So there's a lot more than just policy involved in this mess, unfortunate as that is.

          202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

          by cany on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 02:36:06 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  It's really just gerrymandering... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Brooke In Seattle, mimi, qofdisks

        If the House reflected the popular House vote, it would be a slim majority in favor of the Democrats.  The House is no longer a democratic institution, it has been gerrymandered to the point where it is designed to maintain a permanent Republican majority.  

    •  The piece I read said it would take about 4.7% (0+ / 0-)

      out of GDP in 2013.  

      That would make one hell of a recession by itself.

      The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

      by fladem on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 03:07:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Another thing rarely discussed in the punditocracy (10+ / 0-)

    is that to the extent that we have too many "takers" and too few "makers" today, it's because the conservatives and neoliberal economic planners who've steered the economy towards a deregulated, exploitive, extractive, financialized, wage slave, no benefits, offshored, outsourced, unsustainable, winner take nearly all model, have made it all but impossible for millions of people to do much more than make ends meet, if that, so that when the economy tanks, they have no choice but to live on federal aid or else literally die. These people have enslaved half the country and are complaining that the slaves want bread and water.

    The cluelessness, heartlessness and arrogance (not to mention economic and political stupidity) of these people is simply stunning. If this isn't the makings of a massive populist political revolt against the right, I don't know what is. By all rights they shouldn't have 50 seats in congress--including the senate.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 02:03:56 PM PST

  •  And then... (5+ / 0-)

    A massive new layer of foreclosures.  Then even less spending, more businesses lay offs then the businesses die, thus massive more unemployed, etc, etc, etc

    When there's fucking nobody left working maybe somebody will do something.

  •  I wish the president (10+ / 0-)

    would do an FDR Fireside chat style offensive on this issue.  Take it directly to the people, using all kinds of media and mediums - t.v. , radio, social media, print, etc.  Explain why the unemployment benefits need to be continued and the tax cuts cannot be extended if we are going to heal the economy.

    Justice For Will Will spent his brief, courageous life fighting for the rights we all take for granted. Please share his story to support the fight!

    by KibbutzAmiad on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 02:12:03 PM PST

  •  This is proof (0+ / 0-)

    that we will not be going off the fiscal cliff.   That is a lot of democratic votes.

  •  I'm one of them (14+ / 0-)

    I'm on Tier 3 and my benefits expire at the end of December. I've been trying like hell to find a job for more than a year, even willing to take what I made at the start of my career...20 years ago.

    I have a special needs child, and I can't travel, or work odd hours or weekends. I need to stay in a half-hour of her school for drop off and pickup times. But I've run my own business before, you would think that would count for something??? My ServSafe Cert, CPR and First Aid is all current too. I've managed a staff of up to 25. Planned events for up to 350, and catered events up to 125 myself.

    When I went into food service, AFTER getting my 4-year degree from Villanova, I thought it would mean I'd always be able to find work... but I never counted on being the primary caretaker of a special needs person.

    Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. ~ Yoda Political Compass: -8.50, -6.46

    by Cinnamon on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 02:19:26 PM PST

    •  Mine will also run out (10+ / 0-)

      after more than a year of unemployment. I have an interview shortly after the Thanksgiving holiday. If it doesn't work out, I'm going to be in a world of financial trouble myself.

      •  Good luck with your interview (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JHestand, ChemBob

        I'll hold you in the Light that you get the job. As I said to my boyfriend "if I don't find something soon, the last 2 weeks of December are a joke, nobody's even going to be thinking of hiring then"

        Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. ~ Yoda Political Compass: -8.50, -6.46

        by Cinnamon on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 03:17:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  The fact is that ALL our children require proper (0+ / 0-)

      time and attention. Employment needs to take being human into account. We are degenerating.

      •  All require proper time and attention (0+ / 0-)

        But not all have to have Occupational Therapy 2x per week, Speech Therapy 2x per week, Behavioral therapy 1x per week plus a daily chart kept through school hours, A medicating doctor every 2-3 months, developmental ophthalmologist, developmental audiologist, regular EKG/heart/muscular testing due to the ADHD meds and her Becker's (recessive) MD, and a special school placement that requires me to drive her and pick her up daily since it's out of our district. That is on top of all the regular doctor, dentist and orthodontist appointments of childhood.

        I wasn't saying that any child deserves less than appropriate attention and care. Nor was I saying that they are easy. But not every parent has to make the above list fit into employment, every single week of their lives, including summers.

        Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. ~ Yoda Political Compass: -8.50, -6.46

        by Cinnamon on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 04:33:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The reason that I don't have such a list (0+ / 0-)

          is our lack of access to that kind of care and money. I do many of the above functions and teachers do the best they can. No meds for the kid. We do meditation and self awareness techniques. I am blessed
          with a kid with a heart of real gold. Making high grades as a goal is a challenge and I try not to get tired. Your baby sounds harder. We just have a bit of TBI from a swim team infection at 8 years old.
          I know u are a great parent.

  •  cannot cave again lest we b living in/one (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cany, rhauenstein

    consider these terms: ocean rise, weather re-patterning, storm pathology, drout famine, acceptance of nature

    by renzo capetti on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 02:31:23 PM PST

  •  I support extension of benefits (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hmi, llywrch

    In fact, I think it is necessary.

    That being said, is the plan to endlessly extend unemployment benefits? The stimulative effect is useless. You make money by producing things of value. Increasing consumption is a humanitarian thing for the people being supported, but it isn't a long term plan (or is it?).

    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

    by Sparhawk on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 02:32:24 PM PST

    •  Given that we might be entering a time (7+ / 0-)

      when there is never again going to be enough work for all humans who need to have a job, for a number of reasons, perhaps a discussion of how to proceed would be useful. We will, of necessity, be forced into a post-capitalist/labor system of some sort. We'd better figure out something.

      •  We don't need 0% unemployment for a strong (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sparhawk, Asak

        economy. IIRC 4% is considered “full employment”; at that level, most people who don't have a job right now will find one before too long, and unemployment insurance is just meant as a stopgap.

        Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
        Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
        Code Monkey like you!

        Formerly known as Jyrinx.

        by Code Monkey on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 02:44:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I actually was thinking (0+ / 0-)

          outside and beyond the current recession. We can't continue the current economic approachs. We must find some sort of economic structure that is at near equilibrium with resource consumption, population, and technological advances that will continue to displace human workers.

    •  The stimulative effect is far from useless. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cany, divineorder, MKinTN, qofdisks

      In fact, unemployment benefits comprise some of the most stimulative (in terms of multiplier) government spending around. The reason is simple: The money goes to people who will spend it, and quickly. (Same reason food stamps are also effective.)

      Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
      Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
      Code Monkey like you!

      Formerly known as Jyrinx.

      by Code Monkey on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 02:42:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't buy the "multiplier" effect (0+ / 0-)

        So, do we get a "divider" effect when we pay down debt and stop spending?

        Where is the counterforce to your supposed multiplier effect? When do we pay for it?

        The multiplier sounds like a self-serving myth, like when Repubs say that cutting taxes increases revenues. Everyone always says that giving government money to their favored group will help the economy. I don't really buy it.

        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

        by Sparhawk on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 02:55:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, actually, we do, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          divineorder, MKinTN

          which is why deficits should be countercyclical.

          As for the limit: It only works this well when the economy is underperforming, since government spending isn't going to displace any private spending (what private spending?). Also crucial is that we've already done all we can with the more orthodox means of stimulus, namely lowering Fed rates. This is what people refer to as the zero lower bound, and the reason we have to resort to fiscal stimulus.

          Self-serving as the policy may appear, the evidence for Keynesian stimulus is pretty strong. (Actually, most evidence we have goes in the other direction, that austerity is bad in a depressed economy. But WWII certainly indicates that deficit spending is good in a depressed economy.)

          Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
          Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
          Code Monkey like you!

          Formerly known as Jyrinx.

          by Code Monkey on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 03:02:36 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  The point is to cut the deficit during good times (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MKinTN, qofdisks

          not during bad times.  And this economy is still pretty shaky.  If you want to see what austerity policies would do in this situation, all you have to do is look to Europe.  Those policies have been an absolute disaster over there.  

          Once we get back on our feet then we can focus on cutting the deficit.  Now isn't yet the time.  

  •  Just posted a quote and a link on FB (5+ / 0-)

    And tweeted this. Great post as always, MB.

  •  Don't forget the UnderEmployed! (7+ / 0-)

    I've been underemployed for a couple years now. It's depressing. It's one step above unemployment and pretty damn close to slave labor. We cannot just give the Conservatives a stick in which to beat us over the head with any longer. We need to turn things around and not extend and extend some more so they can twist our arms on some other crap. We need to make a stand and we will take some damage for it. But leaving things as they are and trying to work with these good for nothing conservatives is getting us nowhere. We need to change the game!

    These nutjobs in Congress are going to try to use the unemployed as a wedge to get what they want and we are all going to suffer for it. We need to make some noise and demand they deal with extending the benefits as a separate issue instead of giving something away with it.

    "I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately." -- George Carlin, Satirical Comic,(1937-2008)

    by Wynter on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 02:42:40 PM PST

  •  looking at that graph (0+ / 0-)

    it looks like there are subregular fluctuations (recessions, booms, good-bad times), superimposed on top of a "baseline". But this baseline is actually rising - steadily, all the time, since 1948. From about 5% then to just shy of 20% now. Why? What is going on there?

    •  Possibly an artifact of the starting year (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marsanges

      of the graph. 1948 was post-war boom time. If you just look at, say, 1960 onward, the upward slope is less pronounced.

      Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
      Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
      Code Monkey like you!

      Formerly known as Jyrinx.

      by Code Monkey on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 02:48:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I was one of these people until recently (7+ / 0-)

    Throughout the 90s and aughts, I was doing IT work on a contract basis.  When the economy was good, it was rarely more than a couple of weeks from the end of one contract to the beginning of the next.

    When the financial sector crashed the economy, things began to change.  The contract I was on in 2009 ended at the end of January 2010.  I didn't get another until a 3-month stint in March.  The next one came in August after a three month layoff, lasted another three months.

    And then - nothing - for nearly two years.  The kind of corporations that used to hire local consultants started moving that work to India, Russia and Israel.  Only financial services companies were doing well enough to continue hiring Americans.

    The worst part: my wife and I bought a house in 2009 which almost doubled our monthly expenses.

    I'm lucky enough that my wife's job (with the State of New Jersey) was very stable over this period of time.  I went through the usual six months of UI compensation, and the two federally funded extensions.  But over the first six months of 2012 I was only bringing in what I could get from the odd temp job here and there.  We were going through our savings like water.

    The story has a good ending.  In August I got a contract-to-hire gig, and impressed my employers enough that they hired me permanently last month.  I'm 57 years old, and may never have to send out resumes again.

    Close your eyes, stop your ears Close your mouth and take it slow Let others take the lead and you bring up the rear And later you can say you didn't know

    by njheathen on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 02:57:11 PM PST

  •  Just a thought here. I wonder what the cost of say (0+ / 0-)

    retraining these long term unemployed would be versys unemployment compensation which sooner or later is going to expire. I know not all would maybe accept retraining or some may be close to a point of retirement, but just wondering what costs would be....???

  •  In Alaska, most federal emergency benefits expired (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    snoopydawg

    mid-summer because Congress built in terminations based on the unemployment rate.  If the rate was under 7.9 or so, benefits have already been dropped for months.

    Maybe that affected the numbers of "official" UI for the rate numbers by election time???

    At any rate, the pain has been felt for some time by many.

  •  A better plan might be to create some new jobs for (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    qofdisks

    stuff that needs to be done.  

    More home health care where workers are treated right.
    Infrastructure projects.
    Green energy.
    Vision and dental care.
    Making food products more healthy.
    Taking down more dams that interfere with sustainable fisheries.
    Cleaning up messed up watersheds.
    Taking care of the healthy watersheds that remain.
    Operations and maintenance of water and sewer systems and upgrades where needed.
    Home and commercial weatherization.
    Implement energy efficiency standards.
    Create more fuel-efficient automobiles.
    More investigative journalists, including actual pay for photographers.

    No doubt folks can add to this list.

  •  The stupid and immoral deal just got more... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    qofdisks

    stupid and immoral. And now Democrats and their enablers have the next out they need to capitulate on tax cuts yet again.

  •  Just got my 14 day eviction notice today (6+ / 0-)

    No job. 4 kids. ton of shit. sigh. Still, I got 14 days to sort this out. fuuuuuckkk. Never been like this my entire life. Seriously, Obama won and Baldwin won, and I knocked some serious door action so I feel connected to something really positive. Still, scared as ffffff.

    "Too often we excuse those who are willing to build their own lives on the shattered dreams of others" Robert F. Kennedy

    by realwischeese on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 03:29:33 PM PST

  •  I agree this is a problem... (0+ / 0-)

    However, I don't know what the solution to it is.  We can't allow ourselves to keep getting held hostage by the Republicans.  

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